Pittsburgh Pirates lose 4-3 in extras to Minnesota Twins


2. Final. 3. 4. 4

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost a competitive game in the series finale to the Minnesota Twins 4-3 in extra innings Wednesday night. Joe Mauer sunk the Pirates in the 13th inning with a solo home run to hand the team its sixth loss in seven games. Jeff Locke started for the Pirates and had another average outing, lasting six innings and giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out six in the process. Locke’s ERA on the season now sits at 5.28. Five Pirate relievers combined for six innings of shutout ball before Antonio Bastardo gave up the final run of the game.

Opposite Locke on the mound was Mike Pelfrey, who held the Pirates to one run over six innings pitched. The only scoring before the last inning for the Twins came on a bases clearing double by Torii Hunter in the first inning, putting the Twins up 3-0 early. It took the Pirates scoring three runs in three separate innings to eventually tie the score. That tying run came on a solo blast to centerfield off the bat of Andrew McCutchen in the eighth inning. Eventually, however, the Twins would prevail on a solo home run from Joe Mauer in the top of the 13th inning. Glen Perkins would get his 13th save of the season in the bottom half of that inning.

What Stood Out

The Pirates as a team can’t seem to put a big inning together. In the first game of the series, the Pirates plated five runs but never scored more than one in any inning. In Wednesday night’s game, the Pirates only scored three runs and, again, never put up more than one run in an inning. This is partially due to the lack of the team’s hitting with runners in scoring position, even though they were 3-9 on the night with RISP.

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Antonio Bastardo continues to be a mild disappointment this season. He was brought over from Philadelphia in the hopes that he could serve as a lefty specialist and as the seventh inning bridge to Tony Watson and Mark Melancon at the back end of the bullpen. He gave up the game-winning home run to Joe Mauer on Wednesday. His season ERA currently stands at 5.23 and, if that was his ERA for the season, it would be the second-worst season ERA of his career (outside of his rookie year when he only pitched in 23.2 innings). Needless to say, he needs to turn his game around quickly.

What’s Next

The Pittsburgh Pirates (18-22) are off on Thursday but get set to begin a three-game series with the New York Mets (24-18) on Friday. The series will feature some great pitching matchups and figures to be low-scoring. Gerrit Cole (5-2, 2.40 ERA) looks to end the Pirates’ losing ways as he takes the mound for the club. He’ll face rookie Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 3.18 ERA) for the Mets as the two teams will meet at 7:05 PM at PNC Park in game one.

Next: Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates Play Host to Minnesota Twins